Usually, when we don’t fulfill our best intentions, it is because we have been caught up in “busy” work and the things we love the most are set aside for what we perceive as more important. I have certainly been guilty of this my entire adult life. It is one of the reasons I struggle with writing on my blog regularly. On the other hand, occasionally everything takes a back seat to Mary Moments…which is a good thing.
MISSING THE POINT
Whenever I have heard teachings on the story of Mary and Martha, the focus is always Martha. Mary is briefly mentioned, but for the most part, is completely overlooked. We are so focused on talking about the business of Martha, and condemning her for it, that we skirt over the point of the lesson. This last week I listened to someone share their thoughts on this well-known story and, as a result, I shifted my vantage point slightly. Yes, we realize that it is better to sit and the feet of Jesus than to be busy making a big meal or putting on a party. But do we get it? I mean, really?
It seems to me that we give an approving nod to the moral of the story and then get along with the rest of our day.
NOD TO GOD VS. ABSORBING
Recently I took a few days to get away as much as possible from “everyday life”. My goal was to write, but in the end, it was three days at the feet of Jesus. I literally opened my Bible and read out loud for three days straight.
The experience was transforming. So much so, I read the scriptures out loud every day now.
I encountered intimacy and understanding like never before. Worship would erupt constantly as I received new revelations! Conversations with the Father would spontaneously blossom mid-sentence. So impactful was this time that all my previous years of reading Scripture seemed silly because it was obvious I had no real understanding of the Word. Perhaps, beforehand, down deep my motives were more about “nod to God” readings rather than really absorbing the Word into my spirit and soul.
Touching Jesus vs. thronging Jesus (i.e. worshipping my idea of Jesus).
I would have vehemently denied such an accusation, fully convinced I was genuinely pursuing God and absorbing His Word. My zeal may have been genuine, but I was mistaken because my motives were off. Part of me wanted to have knowledge of God for pride’s sake (if I was honest). Yet, in spite of that, in my core, I truly wanted to encounter the deep things of God.
SITTING & SERVING
I have had the privilege of being able to spend several hours a day studying and sitting in the presence of the Father the last couple of years. I confess I have taken it for granted and even complained about it. But when I took those three days to specifically soak in the presence of the One I love…I experienced a taste of what Mary hungered for.
Mary set aside her tasks and responsibilities to soak up what Jesus offered her.
I admit that I sometimes trade the option to soak for the opportunity to serve. Somehow that feels more spiritual. Searching out ways to serve others, my church, or doing something in a capacity that makes me feel like I’m fulfilling some type of spiritual calling. I’m not doing that for God. I’m doing it for me.
I don’t think it has to be either/or. It can be both, but I need to distinguish when it is time to sit and absorb, or when it is time to serve.
GUILT-FREE MARY MOMENTS
I confess that my effort to find my place in service within the church (or otherwise) has fallen flat this last year or so. As frustrating as it has been, it took me quite awhile to take the hint. God was calling me into Mary Moments with Him and I was trading it for a Martha ministry. Not that serving is bad, but when Jesus – the God of the universe in flesh – walks into your house, I think dinner can wait. (Think about this. J E S U S was in their house!!!).
It is not any different for me. God has provided time for me to sit in His presence while not having the burden or care of little kids running around or working to pay bills. I have felt such a strong tug to sit, soak, and study – but instead felt guilty for taking the time to sit and study – and, out of habit, subconsciously looked for ways to fill my days with busy work.
This is no different than the opportunity in the home of Lazarus, Mary, & Martha. I chose busy-work while longing to sit at the feet of Jesus because I felt guilty for not working or being more “productive”. When all along it was perfectly fine to soak in the presence of my Lord.
FINDING THE SWEET SPOT
As I’ve gained this understanding and made the transition to absorb in His presence, I no longer feel bad for missing some blog posts lately or not doing more in my business. On the contrary, I’ve learned to have guilt-free Mary Moments because that is what matters over anything else. Sitting at the feet of Jesus is my sweet spot!
What about you…where has God invited you into a Mary Moment that you may have missed or not recognized? Perhaps He is calling you into a special time with Him.